Last week, I made my first attempt EVER at making fudge! Exciting, right? Since I've never made candy before in my life I decided to buy a candy thermometer, since there is no way I'd be able to tell when the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage. Anyway, why drop candy into a pot of water to figure out if it's done when you can just use a thermometer? Mine came with a handy clip that let me abandon it in the pot, which was helpful.
Well, this being a new candy thermometer rather than an old rusty one I found lying around somewhere, I decided I didn't need to test it. It'll be fine: it's brand new! I said to myself.
As it turns out, this was a bad idea. I found out the next day by sticking it in a pot of boiling water that its temperature reads about 12 degrees Fahrenheit under the real temperature. Which makes a difference if you're trying to make soft candy. What I did was make hard candy. The dark colour of the 'fudge' had me worried, I admit, but I really knew something was wrong when the mixture had cooled to the right temperature to be stirred again and the thermometer was stuck in it. Ooops.
I managed to get my thermometer out, then I reheated the mixture and turned it into hard candy. Yep, that was an accident. But at least I got it out of the pot! Now I have a lot of really oddly-shaped hard candy that is fine if you don't mind that you can't chew it without breaking a tooth. I'm thinking about smashing it into tiny pieces of shards with a meat-tenderiser and then using it in cookies or something. Small bits of non-chewable candy are a lot more manageable than huge chunks. I mean, people put toffee in cookies, right? Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes.
For now, here are a bunch of pretty pictures of my failed fudge.